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Corvette Clubs and Organizations

Celebrity and Milestone corvettes

Dinah shore vette
1987 Corvette belonging to Dinah Shore -- "See the USA in your Chevrolet ..."

Question: what two things do the following people have in common; Johnny Carson, Burt Reynolds, Ricky Van Shelton, John Mellencamp, Rosemary Clooney, Roy Orbison, and Dinah Shore?

First, they're all celebrities, known for their contributions in the world of entertainment.

Second, they were owners of a Corvette.

Second question: where is their famous Corvette today?

Easy!  They are all in the Bob McDorman Collection, in Canal Winchester, Ohio.  They were all available for viewing last weekend at the 34th Annual Bob McDorman Corvette and Classic Chevy Show.

50th Anniversary corvette
50th anniversary special edition -- 2003

The Corvette marks its 50th year in 2003, and Chevrolet's rather subdued response is somehow appropriate. Sure, Chevy could have come up with an ultra-expensive and limited-production special edition, perhaps something along the lines of a street-legal version of the C5R endurance racers. But Chevy didn't. Instead, the 50th Anniversary Edition is a trim package available on coupes and convertibles. If this seems less than special, considering the occasion, you're missing the point. A Corvette is not, and never has been, an exclusive vehicle for the extremely wealthy. While Corvettes have never exactly been inexpensive, they have never been as expensive and exclusive as imports with similar performance. With its large V8 engine and stylish fiberglass bodywork a Corvette is a uniquely American vehicle, much like a certain variety of V-Twin cruiser motorcycle. And like the bike owners, Corvette owners tend toward extreme enthusiasm. Just for them, Chevrolet is planning a gathering of the faithful for a serious anniversary celebration in Nashville, TN - the nearest big city to the Bowling Green, KY factory - this June. It should be a good party, for a very good reason. I've just finished a week with a new Corvette coupe decked out in 50th Anniversary trim. Fans can endlessly argue about which Corvette is the best-looking (I'll take the original 1953 model and the 1963 Sting Ray split-window coupe, thank you) but the current one is by far the best for comfort, handling, and power. In the form of my test car, with the standard four-speed automatic transmission, it's not as hard-edged as a manual car or the Z06, but it's hardly a soft luxury impostor. Consider it a four-wheeled version of the classic American cruiser motorcycle. Late-breaking news: A special edition 2004 Z06 Corvette has just been announced, commemorating the car's success in endurance racing at Le Mans. Continuing Corvette's place as Chevy's technology leader, look for carbon fiber front bodywork, special suspension tuning, and a color scheme like that of this year's Le Mans cars.


APPEARANCE: A Corvette looks only like a Corvette, and the current version is a low, rounded wedge in convertible, fastback coupe, or notchback Z06 body style. It fittingly incorporates many different historical Corvette styling features. Its shape is an evolutionary development of its immediate predecessor, the `84 to `96 `Vette, which itself evolved from the `68 to `83 models. Check the fender lines. The scooped-out ``coves'' on the side go back to the 1956-62 body style. The rear of the coupe's greenhouse echoes the shape of the `63 to `67 coupes (with better visibility and minus the `63's split window). The 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette is distinguished by unique metallic maroon ``50th Anniversary Red'' exterior paint color, ``champagne'' colored wheels, and commemorative badging on the front fenders and trunk lid.

COMFORT: A Corvette is a Corvette, meaning that it's a low-slung sports car designed for serious driving. In some older models, accessibility was, if not quite down to Italian exotic levels of contortion, still somewhat gymnastic. It's much better in the current version, as the old high door sills are gone. The 50th Anniversary package builds on the standard Corvette interior, with the commemorative logo embroidered into the headrests and floor mats and a unique ``shale'' gray color scheme. The instrument panel is the latest interpretation of the classic Corvette ``twin cowl'' design pioneered back in 1953. There is room for two, with an emphasis on driving. Luggage space is adequate for traveling light, and a new cargo cover in the coupe adds some luggage security.

SAFETY: Corvette crash avoidance features include quick acceleration, top-notch handling and maneuverability, and 4-wheel antilock vented disc brakes. A safety cage around the passenger compartment, front and rear crush zones, three-point safety belts, and next-generation airbags protect occupants in case the crash is not avoided.

ROADABILITY: As it has been true for the past half-century, the current Corvette has body-on-frame construction, with plastic composite bodywork. The current frame is the most rigid yet, and, with a fully-independent aluminum-intensive double wishbone suspension architecture with transverse composite leaf springs, is fully capable of dealing with Corvette levels of horsepower and cornering force. The ``magnetic selective ride control'' suspension that is part of the 50th Anniversary package is also available on other non-Z06 2003 Corvettes. It replaces the standard shocks with special units that use fluid that changes viscosity according to the strength of a computer-controlled electromagnetic field. This allows for quick real-time control of damping rates for flatter cornering and a smoother ride. There are two driver-controllable settings. Soft adds comfort at low speeds around town and on poorly- surfaced roads, but it allows too much body roll at highway speeds. The firm setting gives the standard Corvette firm ride, with good damping and little body roll. Anyone expecting a soft luxury-car ride in a Corvette has been seriously misinformed. Cornering is further enhanced by huge contact patches of the staggered-size run- flat Goodyear Eagle GS tires, P245/45 ZR17 front and P275/40 ZR18 rear.

PERFORMANCE: With 350 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 360 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm (375 @ 4400 for the 5-speed manual version), the standard Corvette LS1 V8 is underpowered only in comparison to the 405-hp LS6 in the Z06. The standard four-speed automatic mellows the Corvette somewhat, but again it's mellow only relative to the six-speed manual LS1 or Z06. Each pony has only a little over nine lbs. of Corvette to move, and so it moves very quickly. Acceleration or exhilaration? With only light application of the throttle, the `Vette is a pussycat, purring smoothly through traffic. Press a little harder and the claws come out, as it rockets forwards to classic V8 sounds. With the massive amount of torque available, the automatic has little effect on raw acceleration. In spirited driving, holding the transmission in either second or third works fine even on tight roads.
2003 anniversary
Ben and Alice Milander attended the 2003 unveiling on the 50 th anniversary corvette at Reno Hot August Nights - 2003
2003 anniversary
What!! You didn't think this was the best anniversary present?
(It was also our anniversary)
2009 ZR1
Car and Driver recently strapped its test gear to the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and, as expected, recorded some impressive numbers. All eyes have been on the supercar Vette as it enters the boxing ring to duke it out with the heavy-hitting Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR, Nissan GT-R and Porsche GT2 (among others), and it looks like the latest Corvette will more than hold its own. According to C&D's trusty electronic gear, the supercharged 638-hp beast knocked off a 0-60 mph time of just 3.4 seconds as it continued towards a blistering 7.6 second 0-100 mph run. The quarter mile was cracked in 11.5 seconds @ 128 mph (Chevrolet claims 11.3 seconds, but the guys at C&D didn't believe in "...that sort of drivetrain abuse" to get lower numbers). The top speed also remains unverified as the team "ran out of room" before they could hit the claimed 205 mph. Under braking, the ZR1 set a new C&D record as it hauled itself down from 70 mph in just 142 feet. Of course, we must mention the obligatory claimed Nürburgring lap time of 7:26 (at the hands of Chevrolet). So you don't have to Google the competition's best-claimed Ring times yourself, here they are: Porsche GT2 - 7:32, Nissan GT-R - 7:29, and the Dodge Viper ACR - 7:22. Of course, we'd like to see all four on the track under identical conditions, and with some digital timing gear!
parking sign
1960 original dual quad corvette. I purchased this car from my neighbor who purchased it in 1969. He wanted a 1960 because that was the year he graduated. He hardly ever drove it and put on only about 5,000 miles in the years he had it. Every time I saw him I said if he ever wanted to sell it let me know first. One day in 1999 he came over and asked if I still wanted it. Needless to say, I now have it. It was deteriorating from sitting so much but the odometor shows only 55,000 miles which I think is original. It has the original dual 4 barrel 283 engine and a 4 speed transmission and both tops. The soft top has only been up a couple of times.
Milander 1958 vette
Under Construction: 2K58 -- BEFORE --
This is what I started with. A former drag race car which belonged to a friend of mine in Los Gatos, CA. He used to race it at the Fremont drag strip before going in the army in 1976 and it had not moved since. I bought it and I am and in the process of restoring it with a C4 suspension and LS1 engine with 6 speed manual transmission. The chassis conversion was done by Paul Newman enterprises.
Milander 1960 vette
Under Construction: 2K58 -- Modified Frame--

After powder coating, assembling frame components to accept the body which is being repaired at a fiberglass shop.

Other Corvettes in Reno

Chaffer 1960 vette

1988 Corvette

Chaffer 1960 vette

2008 ZO6